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Title:Living conditions among Cairo's poor: a view from below
Author:Wikan, U.
Periodical:Middle East Journal
Geographic term:Egypt
Subjects:urban society
standard of living
urban women
External link:http://search.proquest.com/pao/docview/1290771404
Abstract:Whereas most scholarly and journalistic reports deplore the falling living conditions of Cairo's poor, the evidence the present author has obtained as a participant observer of their life since 1969 indicates that poor people themselves feel that matters have improved greatly over the past 15 years. How can this discrepancy be understood and what insights can it provide into the conditions of the urban poor and social science methods for recording or evaluating these conditions? As an anthropologist, the author has lived with and studied 17 families in a particular poor area of Cairo since 1969. Her aim was to learn how they conceived of themselves and their lives, as well as what the 'objective' factors were that constrained and shaped their particular life situation and position in society. Her easy access as a women to women's circles provided her with backstage information about both women and men and their actual level of living, as opposed to the life that men like to say that they lead. Bibliogr., notes, tab.